• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

How Bush’s Belligerence Prompted North Korea to Pursue Nuclear Weapons

As a psychologist engaged in peace research, I attended a summer seminar program in 1990 at UCLA’s Center for International and Strategic Affairs. An expert from one of the US nuclear weapons laboratories presented a history of nuclear weapons proliferation. His argument was that threatening a nation with nuclear weapons can cause that nation to acquire nuclear weapons. A clear causal chain runs from the US threatening the Soviet Union, to the US and the Soviets threatening China, to China threatening India, to India threatening Pakistan. It may take a decade or two, but acquiring nuclear weapons becomes a national priority for nations threatened by nuclear weapons.

In the current crisis, North Korea is trying to appear to have nuclear weapons, and we imagine that Iran is trying to acquire nuclear weapons. The assorted analyses of this crisis are over-looking the role of the USA threatening both of those nations:

1) The US sees Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as conspiring in an “Axis of Evil” even though Iraq and Iran are historic enemies and North Korea is the historic “Hermit Kingdom” isolated on the other side of the planet. In fact, the “Axis of Evil” idea was fabricated by a speech writer and has no reality beyond the rhetoric.

2) The US repeatedly says that “all options are on the table” referring to its right to arrange regime change in other nations, its right to bomb other nations, to blockade them, to invade them, and to use nuclear weapons if wants to. In fact, those are all acts of aggression, illegal under international law.

3) The US has also declared a doctrine of pre-emptive war. This means that national defense is no longer based on responding to the military actions of other nations but is now based on responding to America’s imagination of the military intentions of other nations.

Intentions are invisible, and it often happens that denying intentions is perceived as proof of their existence. The more Iran claims that it has no intentions of acquiring nuclear weapons, the more this is seen as evidence that it does. Saddam made that mistake. Or, rather, the USA and UK made that mistake about Saddam: they misimagined his intentions. Also, Iran’s denials sound like lies because every nation knows that geopolitical rationality dictates that Iran should seek nuclear weapons to deter US threats. Any people who are the target of America’s militarized imagination had better prepare for real war. Thus, North Korea and Iran are not the causes of current instability; they are reacting rationally to the instability caused by the USA.

The simplest solution to the present crisis would be for the US to stop threatening other nations, to return to rule of international law, and to give the guarantees of non-aggression that North Korea and Iran have been requesting. America’s allies in East Asia, in the Middle East, in Europe, and in North America need to somehow find the courage to tell Americans and their current administration that they should try to become a normal nation, one that does not arrogate to itself special rights, one that is not fearful of other people using their own resources for their own purposes, one that is cooperative, responsible, self-restraining, and respectful of other peoples and their leaders. The sooner America realizes that it is merely one nation among many, comprising merely 5% of humankind, the sooner will the world be more peaceful and able to face the real threats to our existence.

FLOYD RUDMIN is Professor of Social & Community Psychology at the University of Tromsø. He can be reached at frudmin@psyk.uit.no

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
Nyla Ali Khan
The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s
Louis Proyect
Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?
Ralph Nader
S. David Freeman: Seven Decades of Participating in Power for All of Us
Norman Solomon
Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic
Ron Mitchell
Defending Our Public Lands: One Man’s Legacy
Nomi Prins 
The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now
Richard C. Gross
About That City on A Hill
Kathleen Wallace
An Oath for Hypocrites
Eve Ottenberg
Common Preservation or Extinction?
Graham Peebles
Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Unearned Income for All
Evan Jones
The Machine Stops
Nicky Reid
Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What is a “Native” Plant in a Changing World?
Shailly Gupta Barnes
Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?
John Kendall Hawkins
In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea
Nick Licata
How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically
Jill Richardson
Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?
Susan Block
Incel Terrorism
Mitchel Cohen
Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense
May 28, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail